Drama Masterclass: 'Goodnight Mister Tom' Review
Set at the beginning of the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom appears at first to be another tale about evacuees, but in fact it is much more profound.
It tells the story of Tom, a man bereaved during the First World War, who has become a lonely recluse, and a boy, William, who is a victim of abuse and neglect. Their unlikely relationship enables both characters to confront their past and to find a future of happiness together, mirroring the great historical changes happening around them.
It was a fascinating and challenging project to adapt Michelle Magorian's outstanding novel and bring it to life on the stage, and the children worked tirelessly to make this a success, giving up many hours of their time in the evenings and weekends, for which I thank them.
There were two casts to give more opportunity for the Drama Masterclass members to take on major roles. The main role of Mister Tom was played memorably by Tom McGovern in Cast A and Harry Hodierne in Cast B, both showing great empathy for the part and real talent in their portrayal.
The part of William, the boy, was equally challenging in its need for pathos without sentimentality and both James Fricker and Luke Muschialli fulfilled that task with flair.
There were also bright performances from Alfredo Vasquez and Tom Adams as the colourful friend, Zach, Charlie Kingsbury-Fitch and Max Campbell as the redoubtable vicar, Firdest Karaca and Connie Preston as the warm-hearted next-door neighbour, Mrs Fletcher, Anastasia Barber and Hope Ball as the local schoolteacher, and from Jaz Wardle and Toby Sammarco as the wise, old doctor.
The challenging role of the disturbed mother was taken on most ably, considering their age, by Megan Driver and Imogen Lock.
It has been a great pleasure to see these pupils develop their Drama over their time and performances with the masterclass and I can only praise them for their commitment and talent.